We know that it’s delicious. We know that it’s made with natural ingredients. We know that it’s affordable and nostalgic and comforting and creamy and smile-worthy. But the question that gets asked the most if whether or not peanut butter is good for you.
It’s an interesting question, particularly for a company like HomePlate Peanut Butter that was founded by a team of former professional baseball players. When you have former World Series MVPs on your founding team, it would seem a no brainer that peanut butter is good for you, but still, the question remains. HomePlate’s founders, and the majority of their teammates grew up on peanut butter. They were raised on peanut butter & jelly sandwiches and as they progressed through their careers as athletes, from Little League to high school to college to the minor leagues and finally to the Majors, it was something that continued to follow along - a staple in their gym bags.
In 2017, there was a wondeful investigative article written on ESPN that dove into the fascination with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the NBA, claiming that people like Stephen Curry of the dynasty Golden State Warriors was eating one as part of his pre-game warmup ever since the 2014-2015 season.
As recently as this past month there was an article in the Los Angeles Times about Felix Peña, a pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim throwing 7 hitless innings and crediting his newfound love of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the strength and stamina to keep him going during those hours on the mound. It was something he could enjoy in the middle of a game, seated in the dugout when his team was hitting, energizing him to get through his next three outs.
But is peanut butter good for you? Depends who you ask and it depends what you mean by good. Peanut butter is a natural product, made from a legume and for HomePlate, a hint of salt, sugar, and responsibly sourced palm fruit oil to give it a silken texture. A two tablespoon serving has 7 grams of protein, 15 grams of fat, 190 calories and just 8 grams of carbohydrates and 3 grams of sugar. It makes for a powerful spoonful that can certainly power the body to get through an activity. What it might give even more, however, is endorphins. There are just a few foods in the world that can bring us to a place where we feel comfort and a readiness to take on the world, and peanut butter is one of them.
There are traditional comfort foods like a bowl of macaroni and cheese, a slice of pizza, or a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie that can fire the synapses in our brains, making us feel comfortable and safe and warm, but they also make us feel heavy and sleepy. There are foods like kale smoothies or grilled chicken that can make our bodies feel ready for an extra rep at the gym. But not many foods outside of peanut butter can make us feel both of those emotions - comfort and energy - at once.
This duality of peanut butter is likely what leads many athletes to appreciate its benefits when it is time to perform. Be it baseball players on the diamond, basketball players on the court, rock climbers on the face of a cliff, bikers on the open road, or kids on a playground, its something that can power ever moment.
Is there a bit of sugar in some peanut butters? Yes, but essentially just enough to taste good and provide that burst of synapses. Is a peanut butter without sugar healthier? Perhaps in one sense of the word, it could be seen as healthier, but the lack of sweetness removes that lack of comfort, removing that duality of effectiveness on the human body.
Is peanut butter something that should be enjoyed in bulk? Perhaps if you are an extremely active person or your diet specifies a particular amount of calories and fat to keep your desired body weight, but otherwise, like with nearly anything, it should be enjoyed in moderation. 10 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches each day might not be the ideal diet, but neither is 10 salads or 10 smoothies. Life and health is all about balance and peanut butter provides an incredible influx of fat, calories, and protein in an endorphin filled bite to balance with the rest of your healthy daily diet.
Long story short, is peanut butter healthy? We think so, but it all depends on your lifestyle. At HomePlate we urge you to enjoy our peanut butter with your breakfast, lunch, or dinner, before a game, in the middle of a hike, or just in the middle of a long day at work when you’re in need a bit of a reprieve. Power life’s best moments with the nostalgic taste of peanut butter made with the natural ingredients that your body wants.